When over at my sisters house the other day I noticed three, very brown, bananas sitting on her counter waiting to go out to the trash. Sweeping in to save the day, I grabbed the bananas and ran for my oven thinking, banana bread. Its not very often that I actually make banana bread because I can't be patient enough to wait for perfectly good bananas to go bad! But today I reveled in the rotten bananas and made the yummiest loaf of banana bread out there.
A few secrets to share with you first: 1) Never over mix your batter, that will just lead to tough glue like bread, not goodness. Stir just enough to barely combine (we are talking 8-10 go-rounds here), its fine if there are still lumps or some dry ingredient spots. 2) always tent your bread with foil when 30 minutes remain on the baking time. 3) Fresh nutmeg. I cant stress this enough...any recipe you use that calls for nutmeg, grate it fresh. I just keep a jar in my pantry and zest when needed! 4) REAL vanilla...for any and everything you do. Vanilla extract is the sin of the kitchen. 5) Eat and enjoy.
1 cup pecans (this is optional if your not a nut lover)
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter (melt and cool)
2 large eggs
3 ripe large bananas (mashed up)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees and put the oven rack in the middle. Spray a medium loaf pan (around 9x5x3 inch) with non-stick spray.
Coarsely chop up the pecans, mash bananas and melt butter. Set aside.
In a large bowl sift together the following ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and nuts.
In a separate bowl combine the rest of the wet ingredients: melted butter, bananas, eggs and vanilla.
With a spatula, lightly fold (mix from top to bottom in a circle) the wet ingredients into the large bowl containing the dry ingredients (make sure you do not over mix here...again, 8-10 folds if you can). The batter will be thick and chunky, not smooth.
Pour the batter into your prepared pan, don't forget to scrape all the bits out of the bowl!
Bake until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55-60 minutes (but start checking around 45...everyones oven is different).
Let cool in pan for 15 minutes on a wire rack, then remove bread from pan to continue cooling on the rack.
Enjoy warm or at room temp. Makes 1 medium loaf.